Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Build to Last: Follow the Old Fashioned way.

Posted on: April 24, 2008

During a recent flight trip, I was mulling over what it would possibly take to build a company that lasts. I donno, call me weird or plan simple narcissistic, but I’d like to build a company that is around till I am, or even beyond. I meet plenty of folks, especially within the entrepreneurial community who keep saying that they bootstrapped three, four, five ventures and all and if you do ask them what their last ventures are upto, there is the two second silence that follows.

I am not blaming them.

It seems to be the case even with Skype. They made the sale, and though Skype as a service goes on (atleast as long as ebay goes on), there is nothing dramatic or new that I’m hearing from that camp. Its almost sad, given how they had captured people’s imaginations and support by the storm.

Now given the Deccan-Kingfisher deal as a backdrop, most would argue that once a company is sold, there is nothing much the promoter can do. That is something I said about the Deccan Brand issue that was coming up. But if your company is built with values and notions that are inherently the brand, and its so engrossed in its operations, I don’t think you’d be able to separate it out – not out of the founder, not out of the people who work for the company, nor out of the minds of the people who are customers. I don’t think Deccan had much of values, or notion, apart from the Low Cost affordability – which kingfisher is more than providing and at much better service. Suddenly no one has a reason to complain.

So here are some pointers which I had jotted down, and I hope to put to practice someday.

Building a Business the Old fashioned way Strategies:

  • Reliable, Sturdy and Long lasting values and technology
  • Create Scarcity. Be Unique
  • Improve Revenues. Not Valuations.
  • Invest in Long term Holdings.
  • Understand “Stakeholder value”
  • Stay away from the Marketers Hoax of playing the valuation game.
  • Solve Actual Problems. Start with yours.
  • Seems pretty basic so far. But most of it translates into pretty complex and a anti-trend to what is happening with startups around. Try it. See if you can genuinely qualify for building a business that is going to last.

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